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Recently, I was shown an advertisement for a new movie due to come out in 2017 called “Split”. Directed my M. Night Shyamalan, it’s about a man with 23 personalities/identities who captures three teenage girls. Because…he’s supposedly balls-to-the-wall mental due to having D.I.D.

Watch the trailer below:

I am pretty sure that a good chunk of people are going “Hey, this movie looks interesting and not half bad. What’s the problem?” so, luckily (unluckily?) I can break it down for you because I have D.I.D: Dissociative Identity Disorder. Let’s start with the basics so you know what I’m talking about and then about the trailer so you can see what I’m talking about.

What is D.I.D?

Most people don’t know what D.I.D is (doubly so if they work at Johns Hopkins University(yeah, I’m not letting that discrimination case go)). Here’s the thing: you’ve actually heard of D.I.D, a lotIt’s usually called by it’s old name “Multiple Personalities Disorder”. Here’s another thing: you mainly learned through media so you also most likely know very, very little about what D.I.D actually is.

D.I.D spelled out is “Dissociative Identity Disorder”, that is the new name of “Multiple Personality Disorder”. The name change happened around the mid-1990s and became part of a spectrum which, if leveled, would look like this:

Level 1: Dissociative Disorder (D.D.)

Level 2: Dissociative Identity Disorder (D.I.D)

Level 3: Dissociative Fugue (D.F.)

If you’re between the “levels”, you’re considered [Disorder]-NOS (Example: DD-NOS). “NOS” means “Not Otherwise Specified”. Basically, the doctor thinks you’re somewhere on the spectrum, but not sure where. I was originally pegged as DD-NOS and then it got bumped up to D.I.D, which made me a very not-happy camper. Actually, I eventually was in tears about it. Not in “I finally know what I have so now my life can begin” tears, I was in “Oh sh*t, my credibility is going to be so dogged because everyone thinks people with D.I.D are absolute psychos. It’s almost as bad as being coined schizophrenic’ tears. It’s not a fun disorder to have and neurotypical folks make sure it’s the worst experience ever. Ask Hopkins. And the Baltimore City Police. 

The first case of D.I.D, according to the Wikipedia page of Dissociative Identity Disorder (it’s one of the few sites that I could find that didn’t have overly dense jargon), was apparently in 1646 by Paracelus but the first profound case was Louis Vivet, who was hospitalized in 1885 due to developing a psychosomatic paralysis at the age of 17 after a viper wrapped around his hand when he was working on a farm. Once he regained his ability to walk, didn’t recognize anyone in the hospital and accused them of imprisoning him. Also, it turns out, he was the influencing story of Robert Louis Stevenson Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde. The key word is “influencing” not “direct story”.

Still, the psych community argues whether dissociative disorders, particularly DID, exists or not. Also, water is wet and the Pope is Catholic, ugh.

What makes D.I.D. the disorder that it is (and often stigmatized) is that there is what is known as various “alters”, also called “personalities” and “identity states”. The job of these alters is to pretty much deal with trauma however way they do. Some internalize it. Some believe that it didn’t happen. Some just go well off the wall to deal with the fact trauma happened. Either way, the group of alters (and host/original personality) is called a system. No two people with D.I.D systems are the same but there are striking familiar trends that are the hallmarks of D.I.D., such as dissociative amnesia, starkly different personalities types (one alter can be boisterous, regular visioned and careless, another can be near-sighted, shallow and pedantic) that make them seem like different people, all in one body. A person with D.I.D can feel like their head is going blank and fuzzy and dissociated from their environment or even themselves (which is also called “derealization” and “depersonalization”). There’s a wonderful Tumblr that artistically express what it feels like to have a dissociative disorder called Dissociart.

While we’re on the subject of art and dissociation, please don’t confuse an artistic alter ego (such as Nicki Minaj’s Roman, Beyonce’s Sasha Fierce, etc etc) with D.I.D because one is crafted carefully for artistic reasons, the other is borne from trauma. I have explained about it in the past here. Also, the insanity=creativity idea is a creativity myth. Being creative and having a disorder are not related: you can have a disorder and not be artistically talented and you can be artistically talented without a disorder. 

Another way I’ve described D.I.D to others is that it’s like your mind is a very, very small apartment and there are several roommates there. And just like roommates in real life, some get along, some don’t like each other, some rather not be bothered, some act like the whole apartment is theirs and no one else’s. I occasionally joke, “It’s like a Dormtainment skit, sometimes.” Or like having several people in one car for a very lengthy road trip.

What is D.I.D Not?

Schizophrenia. That’s an entirely different disorder. Nor is it Borderline Personality Disorder. That is also entirely a different disorder. Those with BPD have mimicked the “showy” parts of D.I.D (such as pretending to have alters and acting out as such) but usually do not display the internal effects of D.I.D, such as the amnesic confusion or expression of internal chatter between alters. Not to mention, if tested, D.I.D is incredibly hard to fake. Even I fudged my answers a bit when I was tested to downplay my symptoms and experiences and still came out pegged as D.I.D. And I’m pretty well-studied on the subject.

It’s also not a fun, creative experience where you get to “try out” being different people. Haaaaaaaaa, no. It’s confusing, disorienting and you get really good at “I have literally no clue what is going on but I’m just gonna do what everyone else is doing until I figure it out.” If anything, it’s like playing those escape-the-room games on Newgrounds where you have no idea where you are and have to figure out how to get out before something bad happens. And there’s next to no directions.

How Does Someone Get D.I.D.?

It’s all about the trauma. One saying about D.I.D is “Not everyone with PTSD has D.I.D but everyone with D.I.D has PTSD”. This means that dissociative disorders (lowercased in reference to the spectrum, not just the actual disorder itself) stem from trauma. It’s honestly no different than if someone were affected by physical trauma (such as being hit by a car) and now have a physical abnormality (now the affected is in a wheelchair). The hyper-simplified basics is “a person experienced an ongoing series of trauma, developed mental defense mechanisms to help deal with the trauma (they dissociate themselves (believe “this is not happening to me”) from the experience). Now the defense mechanisms are maladaptive. PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and C-PTSD (Complex-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) can be a garden bed of disorders, such as disorders on the dissociative spectrum. There’s plenty that can be said here but we’re just focusing on the dissociative spectrum as the scope.

It appears the most common trauma stem is abuse, usually child sexual abuse and, for a time in the 1990s (I have no idea why), claims of Satanic ritual abuse. I don’t have either of those. My trauma basically stems from living in one of the worst neighborhoods Baltimore City had to offer. And how not much as been done, given how that very same neighborhood blew up into riots that took over the city just about a year ago. Of course, other things layer on top of that (Not everyone in Sandtown or Baltimore has D.I.D but 80% does have PTSD. I’ll abstain from my usual snark here) but that’s the groundwork.

In case anyone is concerned, the D.I.D and the fact that I’m Pagan are two separate things because I’m a person. I didn’t become Pagan because I have a mental illness (that’s kinda dumb) and my mental illness does not fuel my beliefs in metaphysics and psionics…because that’s not how D.I.D works. If that were the case, anyone who believes in a deity or higher power would be consider insane, regardless if they’re Christian, Pagan or Buddhist. That and folks who believe D.I.D is the real motivator behind being Pagan: you’re thinking of Schizophrenia, another disorder that’s wildly misunderstood…and is not the underlying basis of why someone has spiritual and/or religious beliefs, either. Oh noes, I’m a complex human being. The horror.

D.I.D starts rooting itself at around 6 to 9 years old but may not really start showing up until around pre-teens or a little later. It isn’t a sign of an over-active imagination of a child, it’s considered a mental defense mechanism on overload when someone is too young to fully understand what’s going on but have to deal with it anyways with very, very little resources and emotional/psychological support.

I could go on forever about what D.I.D is, isn’t, how does someone get it and so on and so forth but I have a trailer to deconstruct so here are the basics: D.I.D is a trauma disorder part of the dissociative spectrum that sets in at around early childhood (but doesn’t show until around pre/teen age), usually caused by on-going trauma, which can be anything, from abuse to long term systemic/institutional neglect/harm. The trauma disorder is a mental defense mechanism that is overloaded due to lack of emotional/psychological support during childhood.

Alright, let’s break down why this trailer foreshadows a crappy movie that is overly tropey. I’ll do time stamps so everyone can follow along my thoughts with the trailer above:

00:25 – These are very polite teens (and of course they’re girls because, hey, “Damsels in Distress” is still a thing). And it makes no sense to as why this random dude is trying to kidnap them. Or how he’s somehow not affected by the mace because that small little dust mask would not stop the effects of mace from getting to his lungs (and eyes! What about his eyes? They’re in a car!). I’ve worked in a weapon shop before, have friends in the police force, friends who have participated in a riot and have my own half-face respirator because I’ve worked with chemicals before. This little dust mask barely thwarts dust. Pepper spray will sail right past that and make all four people have a miserable time. While someone can argue “Some alters can’t feel pain”, pepper spray is designed so that even if you can’t feel pain for whatever reason, your body is still going to be affected.

00:33 – Seriously? An underground secret lair? Complete with beds and decor? There are prisons less decked out than this spot. Also, it’s pretty obvious that the person with the D.I.D is supposed to be the “monster” here. As if police need to watch this and feel validated in their current method of dealing with neurodivergent people of “just add bullets”.

00:45 – I take it the brunette one is supposed to be the hero” or something? And the blonde one is second in command? And the racially ambiguous one is supposed to be the quiet token?

00:50 – Nice outfit and shoes. Lemme guess: the Beckies discover who they think is someone that can help but instead is another alter?

00:58 – Yeap. People do know that getting dressed takes time and most people with D.I.D don’t have a wardrobe at the ready for their each and every alter, right? Because that’s fact. While that is an amazing shirt and necklace, it’s not really true to how D.I.D people act.

01:04 – This is supposed to be the part where the audience reacts and goes “This dude is bug-f*ck crazy. Man, I’d hate to meet a guy like him. Those girls are in trouble.” This is also the part where I roll my eyes. It’s like the creators of this did a cursory glance over what people with D.I.D are like, watched, perhaps, half an episode of United States of Tara and went “ok, we’re ready.

01:17 – That was probably the only part of the trailer that I thought was well done in terms of acting. Just three seconds of footage. Also, it’s another “let’s scare the audience and make them think ‘this dude is bug-f*ck crazy, he’s a grown man who thinks he’s also a woman…and a child.

01:25 – Ah, here’s the explanation, from a therapist. The “monster” is named Kevin and has 23 alternate personalities. This therapist must be talking to an investigator or something because wow, she’s free-wheeling this information. Even my therapist wouldn’t share that much info with anyone out of concern it would be used against me. Like, I think just the hospital I was at and my lawyer gets a direct stream of info. Everyone else has to sign a ream of papers, get asked a lot of questions, etc. Because D.I.D is heavily stigmatized, as well as mental illness as a whole.

01:28 – Ah, she is freewheeling to Kevin, her client. Maybe an alter is out and she’s telling the details?…in a really awkward way? And saying “Who are you? Ugh, sounds like being back in therapy when I first got pegged as D.I.D. It double sucks when you like doing accents to past the time, like me. That’s not D.I.D, I just like amusing myself.

01:30 – The visual expression of, “Kevin is more than one person. And definitely more than you see. I would have thought it looked so cool if I wouldn’t be so strongly reminded that people will think of this when I say “I have D.I.D”. Like, for real, people with D.I.D are not this creepy as a default. Most are pretty quiet, keep to themselves because they know something’s not right in their head and pretty much that. This movie makes it seem all people with D.I.D are out to get a bunch of teens for some super nefarious reason.

01:42 – The brunette Becky seems to attempt to be clever. And fails. Oh lolz. Isn’t she a bit manipulative? Also, depending on the D.I.D system, talking to one alter can sometimes be like talking to one roommate in a house with very thin walls, alters are not that stupid. And speaking of alters, how come there’s literally no alter going “Hey, whoa, hey, whoa…I have no idea what’s going on but this seems reaaaaally messed up. You three? Gotta go. I don’t know why you’re in here but this is not an AirBnb, go on and scat? Or telling the other alters, “Alright, here’s a really strange idea: maybe, just maybe – hear me out, I might be going somewhere with this – that we just kidnapped a bunch of people and totally should let them go because this is pretty illegal and wrong. Wild thought, I know, but just tossing that one out there. Like, we’re gonna be on Court Tv and it won’t be fun. It seems like all 23 personalities are on the same page…that’s really odd. If you don’t think so, gather up 23 random people in a room and attempt to simply order a single pizza in two minutes. The more folks/alters there are, the more complex things get, even for the simplest things.

01:43 – The body contorting? Really? Now you’re just painting those with D.I.D as super scary people that can’t control themselves who just wanna kill and torture. I know pleeeeeeeenty of people who are a lot more destructive and vicious and they’re very much sane and lucid and super not-crazy.

01:50 – “The Beast”? Oh, come on, Christian ideology? Are you serious? How laaaaaaaaazy. Why do mentally ill monsters always reference the Bible somehow? Like, holy crap, can anyone think of anything different? If I saw this in theatres, I would have walked out (if I hadn’t already) and just gone across the hall to see Black Panther (if it were out in 2017 and not 2018).
01:57 – Oh, brunette Becky has claws. She can hit a mentally ill person, how lovely. She can somehow make a White feminist’s heart swoon in how she’s saving herself and not letting a man save her. And somehow, this looks like a cross between a Silent Hill game and a regular horror movie

2:11 – “The world will understand now.” I strongly doubt that. Intensely. More like “vastly misunderstand now” since you made people with D.I.D look like automatic Bible-thumping psycho killers with potential mommy issues. Dude, please.

2:25 – That quip…is so plastic. Doesn’t sound like a nine year old. Also, very little research into D.I.D for this movie, indeed.

And thats a wrap, folks! You can go see the movie if you want but, remember, this is a pretty awful depiction of D.I.D. It is not an inside look of how D.I.D works. It’s not how the average person with D.I.D acts. It’s pretty crap, all in all. I mean, even the Korean Drama Heal Me Kill Me did a better job and that was partially inaccurate as well.

In addition, it’s movies and shows like this that makes people have unnecessary knee-jerk reactions about those with mental illness and present the mentally ill as inherently dangerous when that’s not always the case. Not once throughout the trailer – and I definitely doubt it will be in the movie – that the monster” is going to get anything to make the viewer sympathize with him. Most people with D.I.D don’t want to hurt anyone, they just want to be left alone. If someone with D.I.D did go to harm someone, it’s because they were set off, not because they’re inherently evil. And if the idea that a mentally ill person could potentially harm someone in that state because they’re set off, maybe you should vote and campaign for better mental health care in this country. That’s the only way to “thwart” potential acts of violence from a mentally ill person, by having a beneficial system there that can help them. And signing up for Mental Health First Aid.

It’s time to get into another bit of “Ask Black Witch”! Let’s get started

Hey my name is Mike. my question is how did you get into witchcraft? I know that’s a general question, but maybe if I tell you more about me you’ll understand what I want to know. I was born in Georgia, but I was raised in the Bronx. I grew up Baptist, and really got into being a Christian and knowing Jesus at 23. But I grew up with comic books, so I always believed in science and magic. Then I saw hidden colors and after doing research, figured I should not be a Christian. But I still love the man that was Jesus because he’s helped me through my entire life. I know you tired of reading, but bear with me. I denounced religion and don’t really see the point in any of them. Now I just believe in God, and the truth that he is everywhere, in everything, and became even greater when I let go of religion. Now, there are occult forces controlling our world, and I would like to get familiar with these forces, but not stick my hand in the wrong dark hole. I never said that out loud, it sounds crazy but I’ma send it anyway. So my question, how did you first get into magic?

– Mike W.

I was raised Christian myself but then converted over to Paganism around 15 years old so I get what you’re saying. I got into magick mainly by researching and reading a lot of books and thinking about aplenty. I first read Where to Park Your Broomstick by Lauren Manoy and kind of went from there. I always could see and sense things so I decided to follow that along. Of course, I went through my “Everything is from the devil and eeeeeeeevil. Magick is eeeeeeeevil” phase but got out of that because I simply wasn’t digging Christianity and the rhetoric just didn’t make sense.

If you’re still into Christianity (or just strictly Jesus), there’s always Christian occultism because if Christianity has a load of, it would be occultic backgrounds. I think there are definitely books on the subject (well buried, especially online), particularly if you look under “Christian Gnosticism” and “Esoteric Christianity”. This would definitely be the strong point of a friend of mine who practiced Christian Occultism so stay tuned to this post for an update.

 

Can you make me a witch with lots of powers please

– Jalana G.

Honestly, when I read this, I just thought, Oh, here we go. Because I’ve been dealing with a spate of people asking frank questions like these. My response:

It’s called “read and research like everybody else”

I know, snippy. But like I said, I’ve been dealing with a run of folks asking me something along the lines of “make me powerful”. It gets old on the receiving side.

But what do I research I’m a teen and don’t know what to search

 See, she would have save herself some snip from me if she mentioned that in the initial letter. Either way, that is a relatively easy answer.

I’ve recommended books here on Black Witch, I think I even have a tag for it. The best book I can suggest a teen (or anyone) to read is Where to Park Your Broomstick by Lauren Manoy. Her and anything by Ellen Dugan, they’re both great writers for starters in magick.

The reader also asked:

Does it take a long time to become a witch with powers?

Long story short, yep. Firstly, real life isn’t Charmed or True Blood. You’re not going to really get the same experience that tv shows you. So no sparkles shooting out of your fingertips shall be promised. However, this doesn’t mean that magick in its, well, magical sense isn’t real. It’s just going to take a lot of work. And reading. And thinking. And mistakes. And so on and so forth. It’s not going to be an overnight thing, at all. Otherwise, everyone would be a witch if it were that cheap and easy.

 

That’s all for this month! See you next month. Or at Otakon or something.

Welp, in the recent string of “Police + Black people = ends poorly”, this time a therapist was shot. Not killed, thankfully, just shot. He was trying to calm an escaped adult with autism, who only had a toy truck. A neighbor confused a tonka truck for a gun (it’s amazing how being not White can magically turn even the most innocent of things into guns, like bright green soda bottles and toy trucks) and in came the cops to go after an autistic person because, y’know, police are very well trained for neurodivergent people, especially non-White ones.* The mental health worker, doing their job, was just trying to keep the 23-year-old safe and not dead as he’s dealing with the sensory overload of very dumb people with really powerful weapons acting immensely aggressive because…there’s not enough bad PR for police already? And he gets shot. On ground, hands out, responding carefully, still gets a spontaneous injection of lead vitamins.

Now, if that’s not baffling, the head of the police union has more to wow you with: they didn’t mean to shoot the therapist…they were aiming for the autistic person.

Oh, that’s fantastic to know. Just wonderful. No need for Mental Health First Aid classes when Smith & Wesson can already give you a crash course in how to deal with the mentally ill and disabled. No need for the Hellen Keller method of dealing with neurodivergents when there’s the George Zimmerman solution. I would bemoan how Florida is really turning out to be a crappy state buuuuuuuut the whole nation is getting sour.

This is very frustrating for a ream of reasons:

The person is autistic, not dangerous:
Ok, I understand there’s a bunch of stigma around having autism. Then you have folks like Autism Speaks** who make things worse. The interesting thing about the internet is that you can learn about autism (not that vaccines cause it because that’s been disproven over and over and over again). There’s even an episode of the children’s show Arthur about it:

There, now you know more about autism than a police officer. And if you’re a police officer, now you just got a little bit better at your job, you deserve a popsicle as you get ready to strut into work to impress your major and be one less person for Internal Affairs to worry about.

Apparently what caused the cop to get antsy is that the autistic person was not obeying orders to lay down on the ground. Because he’s autistic. Like the mental health worker was saying. And completely harmless. This is such bad training, oh my gods.

The cop being not White doesn’t make it better:
The cop that delivered the shot was a 30 year old Latin dude that was kind of new, only four years on the force. But still, he should have gotten much better training than breaking out the automatic rifle and taking three shots. I understand police feel under attack because they don’t tend to train their brethern well and that can attract controversy. However, I really doubt attempting to murder an autistic person is going to make anything better. Neither is trying to kill that person’s doctor. If there were beanbags pellets instead of bullets or, I don’t know, listening to the doctor, this could have probably not even have turned into a story. Just a case of a patient got out, doctor went to get them, police came, understood the situation and tried to help the doctor rally the person in. Hey, that even would have been an okay story, to show that not all police are pigs with bloodthirst. Instead, you just get a new story of why police get so much heat about how they handle things.

This is a wee bit personal:
Ah, for someone who isn’t very anti-police, these stories (and my own personal experience, such as a police raid) do not help me keep the faith much. I have written on here a number of times about how I have trauma disorders and I have a therapist as well. And I have to get treatment for my disability, that, if left untreated, can easily go ham. This really irks me that if I have a major episode, this is what I get to look forward to: some dunce person that can’t tell a tonka truck from a glock calling 911 and police just getting murder-y in response. My main therapist is White buuuuuut the mental health worker that helped defined my disorder back when I was hospitalized? Black. And given how this story unraveled, it doesn’t even matter what race my main therapist is, they’re just as much of a target simply because I’m in the vicinity.

I have friends in the force going up to Federal. I explain to them how my disorder works and they ask questions, because that’s the smart thing to do. However, they should already know how to deal with mentally ill and disabled people because they’re who gets called when someone is having an episode. This is not good. This is alarming. The answer to dealing with neurodivergent people is not “Just add bullets”.

The police, frankly, handled this poorly. This is getting beyond annoying, this is getting concerning. Police generally are trained with protocols of how to handle everything, from irate sports fans to riots. They need to really upgrade how they handle dealing with people in general, it seems. Especially the historically marginalized.

 

*They’re not. “Attempt to murder” is not a satisfactory method to deal with neurodivergent people. Ever.

** “Autism$peaks” because the money is all they’re after

I’m so tired of hearing about Dr. King – wait, scratch that. I’m tired of people quoting Dr. King. Usually in tragedies. Usually by bigots. Usually for super shallow reasons. And it’s the same three or four quotations everywhere. Basically, this is how I feel:

tumblr_mzoa5w0sxv1rgam01o1_r1_400.gif

Actually, I got so sick of hearing people quote Dr. King (a civil rights leader the average person know jack-all about, especially if they’re White) that I actually looked up his last words when he was shot on April 4th, 1968 roughly through the throat by a bullet from Remington 760 Gamemaster rifle. Why? I’m morbid and annoyed. (And for cross-burners that trip over this blog, that gun has been out of commission since 1981. Maybe you shouldn’t try to murder people because they want rights). This is what King said:

“Ben, make sure you play ‘Take My Hand, Precious Lord’ in the meeting tonight. Play it real pretty.”

“Ben” was Ben Branch, a jazz bandleader that was supposed to play that night at an event. Seems like King was a pretty passionate guy, which is pretty obvious. Maybe he thought he was going to pull through, this was only the second or third near-successful attempt on his life. The first, I believe was being stabbed with a letter opener pretty close to the heart.

The reason why I am talking all these gruesome details? Because it’s a pretty strong reminder that the dude is dead. He didn’t die a pretty death where he just passes away in his sleep. He isn’t tucked away in the hills somewhere, swaying away on a creaky rocking chair humming old hymns and Negro spirituals his mom taught him. Nope, shot through the throat on a second story balcony because, just like now, not everyone jives well with the concept of Black lives mattering, regardless whether it is called “Abolitionism” or “Civil Rights Movement” or “Black Lives Matter”. And just like now, bigoted folks back then (they had no one Black to quote so they probably went with the Bible), said nonsense that made it sound like racism is this magical, abominable creature that pops out of a vortex, harms people and dips fast before anyone can take a picture. You know, that hate isn’t done by people like them.

Part of why I’m irate is:

Can you please cite someone else?
Look, I get it, the average non-Black person knows next to nothing about Black history because hey, Black lives don’t matter. That’s their story and they’re sticking to it, quite obviously. Even when they pretend that they don’t. Even Black folks are not always up on the facts about Black history, which also sucks.

Despite everyone consistently interacting with a device that has revolutionized information dispensing since the creation of moveable type (*cough*the internet*cough*), it really seems like there’s only one person to cite. I mean, at least cite some Malcom X or Ella Baker! Either way, now would be an awesome time to look up who actually participated in the Civil Rights Movements (White folks, don’t look for the White people in the Civil Rights movement, they were mainly the folks that were being the cause why folks had to march and get shot in the throat standing on a balcony motel. Or murder nine people in a historically Black church – wait, that was recent. Bombing churches, shooting churches, it’s hard to tell repetitive hate crimes apart). Just look for other people besides King to quote. The upside is, you’ll finally fully understand why Black folks have a tendency to march in the street over rights and how this is very much not a new problem. From letters from anonymous people telling King and crew that they’re fakers, that Black people have it great here, that they need to go back to Africa, that all their marches show how Black people don’t deserve to have rights (reminder: these letters are usually from Americans. Who like celebrating the 4th of July. Which is from the Revolutionary Wa- nevermind, Americans have to earn the “moron” stereotype somehow). Basically, it was just the pen-and-paper version of all these wonderful things that you and anyone else can find on literally any social media platform today. None of it is new, just digital.

If you’re gonna cite King, please research who he is or what he did
You know the totes radical thing about technology and the internet today? You can totally find recorded speeches and videos and stuff on sites as mainstream as YouTube. Talk about amazing. Like, you can hear how King felt about White liberals (Basically along the lines of “Don’t trust them, they’re nice folks, until you figure out that they’ll say the horrible stuff behind your back instead of to your face, unlike conservatives,” riots (Basically: “This is what happens when folks get oppressed for a long time and never heard. Lolz. Saw that coming.”) and other things. I’m sure he had something to say about shooting Black folks, I mean, he had something to say about napalm and why that was bad. I’m sure he’d have more to say about guns but y’know, he got shot down by one. *

King is used commonly to lowkey tell Black people “Stop showing us that racism still exists and is bad”
How come no one cites King when things are not popping off? Seriously, he’s very quotable even about things that have not much or anything to do with murdering Black people practically for sport. Instead of saying “I don’t like how you march about and make me feel like I’m racist,” White folks like to reference King like he’s a) the Moses of Black people and we automatically will listen to him instead of have individual thoughts and ideas b) as if he was pro-peace because he wanted to appeal to White people strictly and he didn’t condone violence because he didn’t want White people hurt in effort to get rights for Black people c) because they think  racism died back in 1968 and that Black folks just like stirring the pot, just like how when White folks saw King back then, they thought racism died back in 1865 and that Black folks just like stirring the pot.

Long and short end of it, it’s a silencing tactic. The point of quoting King is to make some random Black person say “Dang, you’re right. King didn’t get shot in the throat by a government-backed White supremacist for being pro-Black for me to sit here and still complain that I still have no rights. I’ll go back to my dead-end job and continue making  lattes and kale chips for White people, I should have known better. If King weren’t brutally murdered by racism, he would be so disappointed in me marching and not the fact that you are oppressive.” Which isn’t happening. Because it’s not true. King wouldn’t be a big fan of riots but just like when he was alive, he wouldn’t shame the rioters, just the people and systems that caused it (which, by the by, wasn’t the rioters). Even King sat down with Malcom X, who was the opposite side of the same coin, and the both agreed that while they were coming at the solution in two different ways, they basically had the same goal: defeat anti-Blackness, obtain Civil Rights, stuff like that. And the meeting of the minds was so iconic, it’s still reverberates through media today: Charles Xavier and Magneto in the X-Men series.**

Because it’s used as a silencing tactic, it paints an “I’m Racist” neon sign above the person’s head. Or just plain “I’m anti-Black” since everyone of all shades use Dr. King to keep Black folks quiet about oppression. Seriously, not cool. If you’re really against racism and don’t like Black folks marching in the street as a result of it, go cite, I don’t know, Jesus or something to White people to let them know that hate, even hidden kinds, are not cool. Black people already know what King said. And the fact he was murdered for it.

“Segregation Now, Intergration Never”/”All Lives Matter”
I remember when my mom told me about when my high school, Baltimore City College High School, was officially de-segregated back in the 50s. What started that conversation was when I asked mom why she didn’t go to City, one of the best high school Baltimore could offer (we’re talking “golden ticket out of the hood” here) and went to Forest Park instead, a pretty ok school but not the best. She told me that it was strictly because of segregation (segregation still was happening in the 60s and 70s, including gender segregation***), and thus started the convo. When City integrated racially, you can believe there were signs saying “Segregation Now, Integration Never”, which was the motto back then against the Civil Rights movement. There was also the National Guard, waiting for things to pop off from the pro-segregation protesters. Actually, before I continue, I just want to say that while City’s integration was relatively more “peaceful” than other Baltimore schools, don’t think it went smoothly. It was “peaceful” because the military showed up. With guns. That’s not exactly peaceful, that’s tense. I should know, I was around when the Baltimore riots happened. You’re miles from peaceful when the military shows up.

Moving on, the grandchildren and children of the “Segregation Now, Integration Never” crowd are just saying “All Lives Matter” now. Same meaning, just new upgrade. Back then, White people against anti-racism thought that America was fine the way it was and that integration would introduce problems where there weren’t any. Kinda like now, when “All Lives Matter” activists say that focusing only on Black lives mattering would introduce problems where, according to them, there weren’t any.

It’s amazing the speed and gusto “All Lives Matter” types will cite King, a person who they are fundamentally against, because they think Black people are so stupid, that referencing King will be a calming dog whistle to us. It isn’t.

 

To sum everything up, the King is dead and he was shot plain dead by the very system he tried to unravel. Not so some Bernie Sander-leaning yuppie can cite him. Not so some Trump-voting plebeian can cite him. So that Black folks wouldn’t have to usher in a new civil rights movement. But here we are, and even King would agree: Black Lives Matter.

How do we know? Because that’s literally all he ever fought for. And was gunned down cold for.

All Lives Matter, amirite?

All Lives Matter, amirite? Or nah?

 

*Don’t like that I’m not direct quoting? Too bad. Looks like you’re going to have to Google it, bro. It’s almost like I’m pro-education or anti-stupid or something. Make America Smart Again?

** If you think this fact is false, please turn in your “nerd” card to be shredded and torched. We don’t need fake geeks running about, you guys already buy up the Comic Con tickets just to harass people and overload the rooms. Go watch football or something

*** This also excludes the fact that even the mayor and former commissioner of Baltimore have admitted that Baltimore still runs on 1950’s-era racism, just on “Jim Crow Lite”. Gender problems? Never left.

Sorry I’ve been so terribly afk* this month. With my Johns Hopkins University issues (guess who worked to have their case yanked out of investigation after putting off mediation for months? Just to slap it back into mediation? Updates are coming super soon) and the fact that it’s a pretty not fun month to be Black, I really haven’t been writing much. And there’s also the fact I’ve been playing Pokemon Go a lot. And just discovered My Chemical Romance has an update for September 23rd, I have to get in adequate spazzing time for that. Very important.

Anywhoodle, I’m always active on my social media (mostly on Tumblr, then Facebook fan page, then Twitter), especially if you message me. I do like hearing from people, just not stupid people.

What counts as stupid people? Enter this kiddo, Star Ikky:

Caption: It is! “Life from the Black Pagan Perspective” *jazz hands*

 It is! “Life from the Black Pagan Perspective” *jazz hands*

Everyone, I usually do not like when people ask me about curses or spells that sound an awful lot like you’re about to ask me for a curse or spell. Anyone who has skimmed this site should know that. (Anyone who have briefly skimmed Ask Black Witch[link] should know that). Why? Because I mention a ton of times here that I don’t talk about spellwork that in depth for a bevy of reasons. It’s cool to ask, “hey, I want to do a serenity spell, to calm down about the police shootings, what should I do?” Because you’re just asking for suggestions, not a full out order. And if you want a full out order, I recommend books. Because they exist. Books are like an extended FAQ for me to share with others. Keeps life simple.

This simpleton is not a fan of simple, evidently.

I always check my google search feature on my site and I religiously put columns into categories. I like making searching easy. I’ve tried tags but they’ve never stuck

I always check my google search feature on my site and I religiously put columns into categories. I like making searching easy. I’ve tried tags but they’ve never stuck

Folks, never just ask about curses like this. It makes you look suspicious. Like “I heard you worked at the Library of Congress and know about 3d printers. If someone wanted to shoot, say, a political figure head, from a really high place with undetectable materials, how would it be done? Asking for a friend” – type suspicious. If people want to curse others, I rather figure out the motive before anything. That and seriously, why curse when guns exist**? Or there’s talking out the problem, a decent alternative.

People hex and jinx for their own reasons. I can’t fault them. However, I’m not just gonna tell any random dink how to do it. I barely tell people how to do spells that help folks (Sorry, it’s a strict no-spell policy), like I’m going to divulge more for the opposite.

Also, it seems this dude keeps thinking that when I say I’m a Black Witch, it means I practice the Left Hand Path. This is poor reading skills at work. I’m “Black Witch” because I’m a Black person (as in, part of the African diaspora. I’ve got the police harassment records to prove it, too, ha! Ok, that’s depressing. Black lives matter, y’all) and I practice witchcraft. Therefore, “Black Witch”. Pretty simple. Especially if you’ve seen all the writings I’ve penned (typed?) about race.

Now, I’m going to spare everyone the many, many, many times the dude asked the same two questions: “If you wanted to curse me, what do you need” and “can you curse me over the internet”? Everyone, I like questions but please don’t say the same ones over and over and over and over and over and …you get the point. I may have amnesia issues but trust, it’s not that bad. If I say, “hey, read the columns,” it means, “hey, read the columns”. Not “If you ask me a million times, I’ll eventually tell you what’s in the columns.” Nope, I’ll just eventually make fun of your poor intelligence. I have to deal with a computer at work that I’m certain thinks it’s an ice cube aspiring to be a bonfire a good 60% of the time. Please don’t be dumber than that computer. *** At least the computer has an excuse.

This dude didn’t seem to dig that I wasn’t *gasp* spoonfeeding him information about hexes and jinxes and how I do it. I mean, if I’m pointing you to my columns, I’m still telling you what I said and how I feel, just not in “txt” form.

Everyone, I tend to dislike those who dislike research. I’m like a Republican when it comes to spoonfeeding: no handouts

Everyone, I tend to dislike those who dislike research. I’m like a Republican when it comes to spoonfeeding: no handouts

I guess I have to remind everyone but if folks are going, “Black Witch, why do you suggest we read so much? Reading is lame! Just tell us everything we need to know so we can be witches already,” these are all the things that is me:

– English Degree

– Getting ready to pursue a Master’s in Library Science for Preservation

– A Librarian (tech/assistant, but that’s because of lack o’ degree, I still am paid to tell people to zip it)

– A daughter of a teacher

– Published in academic books (one just won an award, “The Sisters are Alright” by Tamara Winfrey Harris)

– Worked in the Library of Congress

Lolz. Not much in there that says, “I’m pro-stupid”, “pro-coddling”, “pro-‘tell you the answers’”. Because that’s not learning, that’s being lazy. It’s one thing to get stumped, it’s another to just not want to learn. Being stumped is fine, that means the little hamster in your head is whirring away the best it can. Being lazy in ignorance just means that little hamster is totally vegged out with a bag of doritos and soda, struggling to breathe under its own weight.

Eventually, the dude goes full-on emo and does the classics everyone else does when they’re upset I don’t do parlor tricks: try their hand at reverse psychology and attempt to do the “I guess you’re not real because you won’t prove it to me” route:

Seriously? This makes for crap logic. By this logic, if he thinks that I refuse to tell him my bank pin, that would mean I didn’t know it. Not that I simply didn’t want to share. Also, the columns are the reasons why I don’t try to answer the same dunce question twice.

Seriously? This makes for crap logic. By this logic, if he thinks that I refuse to tell him my bank pin, that would mean I didn’t know it. Not that I simply didn’t want to share. Also, the columns are the reasons why I don’t try to answer the same dunce question twice.

The dude even tries to tell me that this site is somehow a fraud.

Seriously? I don’t think my info is that valuable to dupe to such an extent

Seriously? I don’t think my info is that valuable to dupe to such an extent

I really don’t like when folks go the “you’re a fake and phony” route because it’s annoying. Look, you’re upset I’m not jumping through hoops, I get it. No need to get lame about it. I think just about everyone who I didn’t act like Sabrina the Teenage Witch towards considered me a fraudster. This dude isn’t even that smart in how he applies it:

You didn’t think I was gonna talk about cursing folks, right?

You didn’t think I was gonna talk about cursing folks, right?

Folks, I find folks like this annoying. Very annoying. If you don’t like reading, I will always tell you up front that metaphysics is, therefore, not for you. There’s a metric crapton of reading, most of it very dense and university level.

This guy eventually goes “Oh, you hide behind your books and research” because he doesn’t want to read anything himself. He just wants to be fed information. If I were hiding behind books, then this column wouldn’t exist. Because that’s what “hiding behind books” mean: That I pretend I’m so lofty that no one else could get to my level. I also wouldn’t cite books or feature them on my site (check my The Arts: Samhain Edition picks). I’ve met folks like that. Telling people to research and think for themselves is hardly hiding behind anything. Not to mention, I’ve directly told him to visit this website, if I were hiding this site behind a pay wall or selling some crummy book with “secrets of magick”, then this dude would have a case. Instead, it’s just whining. I don’t like pointless whining. I work in a library. They exist for a reason. Use one.

If the dude said, “hey, I read somewhere [book here] about jinxing. What is your take on [author’s take on subject of jinxing]?” that would have been remotely better. At least it shows some level of thinking. This guy is just showing serious laziness.

 

This is Donald Trump-level of being childish. All because he wanted to avoid reading. He asked a columnist for a suggestion and got upset when the columnist suggested reading.

This is Donald Trump-level of being childish. All because he wanted to avoid reading. He asked a columnist for a suggestion and got upset when the columnist suggested reading.

Really, now? All this to avoid cracking open a book? Not even cracking open a book, just using an already supplied search engine on a website. Man, this dude must have had horrendous grades. I’ve definitely had my days in school where I was 100% “I dun wanna!” from pre-K to university but never this bad. You can’t ask for help and get upset that it’s not neatly packaged for you. That’s not how asking for help works. And this is coming from someone who would spend whole days hanging in a metaphysical shop as a teenager – however, I think those folks didn’t mind because they figured I was around Black elders and not running the street so they didn’t mind me milling about.

This whole conversation was fail and I could tell from the start. I just didn’t know how much fail.

Folks, I like getting your questions. Just make sure they’re good ones. Because as I always say, “good questions are appreciated. Bad questions are eviscerated. Send them in.”

 

*”Away from keyboard” for you dinos out there

** If you’re in America. Other nations kinda have done away with the “angry person with a gun” problem. We should probably get on that.

*** Ok, not entirely all the computer’s fault, I guess. But whoever had it last really jacked up the AI, I think it has mood swings. This is what happens when you work with futuristic technology. It’s better than the holographic keyboard that kept writing spam messages on government computers when it saw sunlight, though. That little dude was a rebel. And possibly a smidge evil.

I have dipped and dabbled in Wicca for the past two years. Then, I fell off the planet for a while due to life changes. I am intending to do a love spell or one that will bring me a long-term relationship. Basically, I’m ready to ask for the One, but am a little conflicted on how to go about this. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

My response:

I’ll touch on this during Ask Black Witch but here’s the short answer to tide you over: love spells like those are waaaay more trouble than they’re worth. Nothing wrong with a “I want a date” spell but “I want a long term relationship” spell is major sticky.

So, just use pink candles and ask for a hot, sexy date–one that I can live with?

I put out two love spells last year, and a wave of guys from my past came back. Mostly unavailable men and I was fearful that i had done something wrong. Mind you, I did not ask for these specific men.

But, appreciate your feedback. 

Yeeeeah, the result you got is usually the result you’ll get. The universe likes to troll. I’ll go more in depth on ABW. I’d put the candles aside ’til then.

i know you wrote you would go more in depth on abw, but do you have any date spell resources?

Newp.

I take that as a no. 

Just for clarification, I am not seeking to mooch like a Salem witch, or trying to get something for nothing here. There isn’t a community of Black witches where I live and often i’m at the mercy of whites who run metaphysical shops in my city. I get mixed messages from them on how to do love spells and with what tools–hence i thought i’d ask you.

Another thing that I thought i’d mention is that the last love spell with a seven day candle that i did–a “magikal” thing happened, or more likely just a coincidence. The very evening it finished burning, I got a text message from this really hot guy i had met a month before that i didn’t think we were really compatible. Needless to say, I never heard from him again and my wicked Quija board (that i have since grown out of and tossed) kept spelling that I should marry him. Sometimes things get a bit wacky.

Anyhoo, I look forward to hanging out at your blog more if you don’t mind that.

Thank you.

– Keisha M

Alright then, here’s the short part: love spells are a loooooooooot more trouble than it is worth.

Lot more.

Liiiiiiiiike, there are exponentially more things that could go wrong than right.

Because the universe likes to troll people.

Exhibit A to ∞

Pictured: Exhibit A to ∞

I guess it’s because humans think quite highly of themselves and it’s the universe’s way of saying “Lolz, nah. Lemme show you how.”

Either way, you ask the universe for a long term relationship, it may plink a chinchilla with an anxiety disorder right in your lap because, there ya go, long term relationship. It’s cute, it’s fluffy, it has abandonment issues like a jack-in-the-box loaded with fireworks and can be clingy. And a long life expectancy, bonus! Give it a twitter account and it’s practically a person!

You could literally tell the universe, “No chinchilla with baggage, human male. Human male for me to have a loving, long term relationship with. No tricks, no gags. Just someone who suits me fine.”

The universe could send you this dude…and they’ll be on the other side of the earth. Everything you ever wanted, just very faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar away.

If you’re feeling conflicted, it’s probably the universe hitting you with a clue-by-four going “It’s probably feeling a little like a bad idea because it is.” And they’re right. I can tell you from experience, you’re really gonna be spending the majority of your time keeping Kleenex’s finance stocks good and buoyant rather than be with the guy of your dreams. (If you go “yeah, that won’t happen to me”, there’s a lot of stories of where love spells, prayers and rituals go from “well-intentioned” to “Pearl Harbor”). Nothing is wrong with a small spell using a pink candle and rose oil to get a date but doing extensive, full-on spells for a long term relationship? That could easily blow up in your face royally.

How could this go passionately wrong? Let’s break down the ways:

Your life will always be in change
The person you are now is not going to be the person you will be a month from now, or a year. To ask for a person to be by your side in the here and now doesn’t mean that the person brilliant for you now will be just the right type for you in six months. (Lordt, I sound like a parent.) Using magick to bring someone to you so acutely is going to have flaws that you couldn’t imagine. You want someone who will grow with you, not someone who will be for the “now” you.

You’ll get what you’ll ask for, just not what you want
You already said you’ve tried your hand at love spells and gotten a lot of duds. Yeeeeeeeap. Sounds about right. Actually, the story you mentioned, it would usually have a “stalker” part so if you didn’t get that kind of guy, hooray because stalkers are scary. Remember, universe likes to troll. Or you do meet the One and he’s already unhappily married with kids and a dog. (Also, for the love of the gods, do not be an adultress. The universe may troll but if you play sidechick, you’re just trolling yourself.)

You’re gonna be biased and miss the shot
Say the universe goes, “Ok, here, no strings. This dude is yours.” But you somehow miss on this because either he’s not what you consider attractive or interesting. The dude is very much the kind of person you need but, honestly, you have no reason in your head why you’re staring at this guy. Your own biases could get in the way.

Control
Kinda bringing “the One” to you because you want it is a bit one-sided, don’t you think? I mean, you may be ready but what about the dude? Maybe you have it together but what if this guy still is attempting to get at least 1/34th of his sh*t together? The dude is a heck of a catch, just got his life everywhere in a way that could be off-putting. Even if you think “Oh that won’t matter, we all have our problems”, you should be reminded that when you finally meet “the One”, he’s not going to have a neon sign blinking over his head saying, “This One, Stupid.” Maaaaaaaaaan, would life be easy if that were the case. But it’s not. So instead, you wouldn’t really have a way of knowing that you just met the One, versus meeting Just Another Frog.

I’m sure the dude you’re supposed to be with is just as eager to meet you as you are him. However, the best way to do it, right now, is to keep working on yourself, keep putting yourself out there and getting to know yourself more so you can figure out what kind of guy would really suit you. Feel free to do spells to get nice dates but remember, it takes more than magick to find love.

 

Tips for newbies? Blog is lovely btw.
– Hoodblipster

Read academic books as well as metaphysics books. Don’t buy every little thing in sight…also, you’re going to buy every little thing in sight, even if you didn’t need it.

Stay away from dimestore books and if you can’t, just distance yourself from the rhetoric. Like, you’re gonna hear nonsense about Illuminati, Egypt, and a loooot of bad, junk science. Try not to buy into that. If it seems to rag on one group of people, such as Jews or Black folks, then it’s probably best to avoid.

Speaking of science: metaphysics and science does not always get along. However, as you look up metaphyics, science is very useful but don’t take every little thing science thinks as automatic law. Seriously, remember that most of science has a looooot of biases (*koff*look at their hiring by race and gender*koff*) so be sure to be mindful. Just be open minded.

Basically, read up on your history, your science and try to keep up with your BoS or DoS as you learn.

Also, doing magick is going to take work. Keep up on meditation and energy manipulation.

Okies, it’s gonna be a light one today. I wanted to write about Pulse buuuuuut, y’know, it can wait. There’s already a lot to talk about and more info appearing every day (as well as interesting tidbits like this “Thoughts and Prayers” game that I like) so we’re going to be business as usual.

Agents of the Realm
I found a really neat webcomic called “Agents of the Realm“. What I like most about this is the all women cast that is lead by a Black girl. I really have been really looking for those because while there are a lot of webcomics that I think are cool, it’s really hard to find some that are A) Black-lead B) Black girl lead (as in, she’s not commonly present as a sidekick) C) Doesn’t have a love interest who is White. Seriously, it’s like the triangle of quality.

2016-06-18-18-04-26.png

Illustrated with hasty handwriting! And maybe it should be a rhombus to include”good” because, trust, it is a factor

It’s really frustrating. Being a Black girl nerd is very tough because frankly, there’s not a lot of good material to choose from (and why does the love interest always have to be a White person? Why not Latin, Black, Native, Asian – why White?) It’s annoying, frankly.

So far, I’m well enough into the storyline to see that it’s pretty cool so far. It’s about a university girl named Norah Tanner who stumbles upon a brooch and is thrown into saving not simply her world but the dimensions it is connected to…but she’s not exactly too thrilled with that, being a new college student is already hard enough without being a dimension defender. On top of that, it appears Norah has an alternate in a different dimension and they keep colliding. Faced with “bleeds”, monsters that used to be agents but are now deformed and destructive, Norah will have to find the other girls who will help her find the key that can bridge the dimension break and end the destruction. Or she and her teammates will atrophy into monsters, just like the agents before them.

agents

The storyline seems pretty decent, I really like it. It’s really nice to see that there a magical girl webcomic story that focuses on a Black girl without shoehorning in her Blackness. It’s ok for a Black character to be comfortably and passively aware that they’re Black. The don’t have to be the living personification of the Black Lives Matter movement, the Civil Rights Movement and the Abolitionist movement all rolled into one being. Even Kendrick Lamar watches cat videos out of cuteness and Beyonce snickers at jokes her sister texted her. No one is The Movement all the time. Dr. King liked playing pool, was even a bit of a pool shark. Seriously, it’s possible to be a Black person without angstly reciting Gill Scott Heron. More comic creators should learn that, makes for really believable characters.

This comic is great for people who really like magical girl comics like Princess Love Pon (another Black-starring magical girl comic) because it is delightful and interesting without being trope-y.

GamerCat
This comic is extremely cute! GamerCat is a comic about a kitty that loves to play video games and the hijinks he and his fuzzy family and friends tend to get into. It’s filled with cool references to videogames, gamer culture and humor that is entertaining for everyone. Also, some comics have gif panels, which is really interesting for me.

gamercat_141

This comic is great for really anyone who loves cats, cuteness and gaming all in one place. Check it out, here.

That’s all for this week, next week is Ask Black Witch. Remember, good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated. Send them in!

Driving me up a wall

Hopkins Update: Alright, I haven’t really talked too much about my situation about dealing with my discrimination case and Johns Hopkins University. It almost looked like I returned to normal. Over the past weekend, I got an update: as of June 3rd, my EEOC charge against Hopkins University finally got moved to “Investigation/Enforcement”. Meaning, after basically five months of my charge sitting in limbo and mediation, things are finally getting a move on. And still, Baltimore City Police’s Internal Affairs is still currently investigating the police officer that decided to raid and trash my apartment on Hopkins’ behalf. That’s been going for, I think, two or three months by now. Since April, for certain.

That is really all. Can’t really say more than that because, well, lawyer. Onward with the post.


Firstly, thank you everyone who participated in the Black Witch 6th Anniversary livestream yesterday. I apologize for being so hare-brained, I never really know what to say live. I will also try to get better about promoting these livestreams because so far (aside from my battery dying or the connection being crap, which are both my phone’s problem), I definitely want to do more of these. I really like the fact that now I can get more use out of my Black Witch Fan Page on Facebook and that I no longer have to fight with Ustream or the like. Hooray.

Due to my horrific situation with my transmission dying and the $5000+ bill that needed to be paid and the fact that to pay it, I can’t get my usual treatment for my trauma disorders (also known as, “the thing that keeps me stable”), I have been looking around for replacement cars because sooner or later, that will have to happen. Eventually, I stumbled onto electric cars. I think they’re pretty cool and the lot I know about them was basically:

1) Tesla

2) Yuppies (also known as “non-Tesla” cars)

Annnnnd that’s it. So, I researched because that’s what I do. I’ve always liked the Kia Soul so I pretty much hovered around that car as an example because I rather look into cars that a normal person can afford, not cars that should be parked next to Bugatti. Kia Soul came out with the Kia Soul EV (“EV” means “Electric Vehicle”) back in 2015. This is what I discovered from researching electric car questions (“What is the transmission?”, “What is the gauge of travel fuel? Charges? Watts?”, “How long can a car go sitting and uncharged? Will it die like a smartphone?” etc, etc):

I discovered a stark reminder of why I hate the Green movement and how pretentious it is.

Y’see, it appears the biggest reason I’m tripping across on countless blogs and forums about electric cars is some version of “I want to save the environment, I’m better than those fossil-fuel cars.” Like, it is major. I honestly am a bit surprised that every purchase of an electric car that isn’t a Tesla doesn’t come with a coupon book for Whole Foods and Birkenstocks. The pretentiousness of the commenters, bloggers and forum-users reminded me of the mid-2000s when the “Green Revolution” got its first bearings, from BP switching their logo to the flowery one during Live Earth (then had an oil spill on the gulf coast they tried to squirm out of), to the onslaught of delusional yuppies who thought they could solve all the world of its ills if everyone sold their cars, bought expensive fixie bikes, put solar panels on their homes and other extremely short-sighted ideas. And how if anyone doesn’t participate, they somehow want to murder the earth, it doesn’t matter if that person can’t buy organic food and Fair Trade.

One thing I disliked about the Green movement because it was constructed in a pretty prejudiced manner (racism, classism, ableism) and was less about saving the forest and more about middle class White people who just want to fling their money around in effort to look better than everyone else. Seriously, they don’t even know if what they’re doing actually is doing anything to help the earth (because if people were serious about this, they would note that it’s corporations that should be bearing the majority of responsibility and there’s no amount of “fine, we won’t buy from them” that will fix things) but maaaaaaaaaan do they have a stick up their derrieres about it as if they’re better. Especially to people who can’t spend thousands of dollars on whimsies.

I’m certain readers (mainly White ones) are going, “How is caring about the earth racist, classist and ableism? Aren’t we are all one race, the human race?” because they tend to question that a lot. And usually follow up with, “Don’t you care about the earth?”

Dude, I’m Pagan. This means I care about the environment as a standard basis of my religious beliefs…but I’m not dumb either. I was raised in the inner city so I take on environmentalism from a more realistic and humanistic approach. Y’know, eradication of food deserts, sustainable (and affordable) housing and sustainable employment, basic stuff like that. Notice I never said, “reduce carbon footprint by getting an electric car” or “eat more quinoa”. And let me break it down why the “Green Revolution” isn’t as shiny and wonderful as it sounds.

Racism: Dude, look at the advertising for anything Green living or sustainability. It’s overly White. No diversity to be seen for miles. And if there is diversity, it’s usually under a “white saviorist” context. We’re usually depicted as poor migrant workers, villages filled with poor – but happy – people. Basically, the only time diversity really shows up is with the undertone of “Do {phony environmentalist act} and you’re helping this miserable bastard. White man’s burden, saving the world. They can’t do it themselves, too primitive to even know that plastic exists.”

This doesn’t even include the micro-aggression towards Black people want to be involved as “oh, you’re a credit to your race” or “isn’t this a bit pricy for you?” Buying sustainably is definitely not buying cheap and with the stereotype of “Black = poor”, that means a lot of irritation if you’re Black and you want to just do your thing, even if it is just wanting to maintain a small garden. This leads to the next point…

Classism: If sustainability cravers were actually serious about helping the world, they wouldn’t make the options to go green be so pricy. I mean, why not put solar panels on schools and projects in the hood? How about allowing low-income people getting an actual leg up to get an electric car because a) this puts less gas cars on the road and b) it creates an access for people to find decent work and be able to manage their lives a little better? How about not only community gardens but also allow people in the community to maintain a small grocery store that actually hires people from the community and etc etc etc? That way, there’s an economy and access to organic food. It’s not $6 asparagus water but hey, it puts nutrients in hungry and hard-worked bodies. There’s no sign of the “Green Revolution” in poorer areas because it’s just a game for the upper classes, not an actual effort to make the world better. If it, the “revolution”, cannot benefit those who need it most, then it’s not a revolution because no one of value is being helped. It’s not fair to not be able to purchase the more expensive filters for water, the nicer cars instead of the 1980s and 1990s clunkers we’re forced to stay with, to not have access to sustainable foods or jobs to provide money to buy them with…and to get shamed and ragged all the same about it.

Ableism: One thing I noticed, Green Living folks tend to be very able-bodied…and assume that if they recycle and have a paleo diet, somehow people who are disabled brought it on themselves. That if someone drank more organic smoothies, they would be able to get out of that wheelchair. If they just had a garden, they would somehow be cured of bipolar and depression. (Mental institutions have been making the mentally ill doing field work since at least the Victorian times – hasn’t worked then, not going to work now.) These people, those who tend to be hyper-focused on Green Living, tend to not operate within the basic realms of science and biology. Having a disorder or disease or any condition will not magically go away because someone had free range goat cheese and wild, raw turnips. That’s not how illness works. Does eating better and having access to better food and water improve health? Absolutely! Is it the cure-all of any human ailment, physical or mental? Absolutely not. Because health doesn’t work that way.

How annoying. All I wanted to do was look at cars and the capabilities of vehicles, instead I have to wade through the briar patch of self-absorbed douchebags.

Next week is The Arts! No word yet on who to feature but it shall be a thing! However, if you have something artistic that you want to share, feel free to drop me a line!

I was just perusing my social media and I came across this:

2016-05-31-20-54-30.png

This was me:

Nonono_cat

Alright, here’s why you shouldn’t be turning your punami into a humidifier. Actually, no, let’s start from the basics: what is vaginal steaming? Well, according to website naturalnews.com, penned by Lisa S. Lawless, Ph.D:

“For those not familiar with what vaginal steaming is, think of it like a medicinal, herbal, steam facial for the vagina.

Typically, they are done a day or two after a woman has had her period in order to detox and heal any imbalances in the vagina, cervix and uterus. Vaginal steaming has also been known to ease anxiety in women as well as tackle several other health issues-

• Irregular and painful periods
• Vaginal cysts
• Infertility
• Bladder and yeast infections
• Hemorrhoids
• Uterine fibroids
• Scarring from childbirth, hysterectomies and laparoscopies”

You don’t have to go far in this entry to find the Orientalism in the article:

“Vaginal steaming in Chinese medicine is used to relieve stagnation and coldness in the body, and in Eastern medicine in general it is used to dilate the blood vessels, increase blood circulation, provide oxygenation and relax the pelvic floor muscles. Other ways it improves health depends on the herbs that are used and the healing properties each herb brings to the table. The most commonly used herbs for vaginal steaming are mugwort, basil, calendula, oregano, marshmallow root, wormwood and rosemary.”

Ah, there it is! And notice, those are primarily Western herbs you see that are being used with a Chinese (funny, there’s no ethnic pinpoint because China’s a pretty big nation with a pretty extensive history and various groups, can’t lump them all together) method…that eventually switches to “Korean” later. Because somehow that’s not a recipe for disaster. This is why stealing cultural ideas is bad, women’s health addition. Especially if it didn’t come from the Far East…more like “Los Angeles in 2010” and as a bastardization of moxibustion, which is an authentic healing method.

Alright, we got the basics, now let’s get back to why you shouldn’t be turning your punami into a humidifier.

The vagina is self-cleaning
Doctors (smart ones) would usually tell women to not shove, spurt or steam anything up main street for cleaning purposes because the vaginal canal is actually self cleaning. Douching is bad. Very bad. Like, “there’s a reason why it’s an insult” bad. The vagina naturally regulates itself and pushes out any bad bacteria, germs, dead cells, etc etc. What douching of any sort does is forces all that back in. It’s like the natural fluids in the vagina are showing bad elements the door, and the human it’s connected to just wants to shove everyone back in the house. Which causes infections.
Actually, let me let a real doctor talk, Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor of ob-gyn at Yale School of Medicine. She was interviewed by Women’s Health magazine and this is what she had to say:

1. It Burns

“My first concern is that someone would burn themselves because steam is hot,” says Minkin. “And I certainly wouldn’t want someone to get a burn in their vagina.” Fun fact: Your hoo­ha sits right next to the bladder and rectum, so a bad burn could damage the lining between the two of them and cause a lot of issues. “That would be a worst­case scenario,” says Minkin”

Remember, if you’re getting worked done on the vaginal region by steaming it, it is most likely not being done by a someone with a medicinal background. And with so many how-to home guides floating around on the internet, it’s a recipe for trouble. During steaming, the whole area (the vulva) is getting steamed, the major and minor labias, the urethral entrance, the vaginal opening. That means the herbal concoction is going to affect everywhere. Then there’s the rectum, as the doctor has mentioned. Basically, these are sensitive parts that you do not want to damage through poor research and misguided health suggestions.

2. It Can Mess With Your Vagina’s Good Bacteria

Just like regular douching, trying to “cleanse” your vag with steam can be drying and disrupt the natural bacteria that lives up in there, says Minkin. And since the vagina is a self ­cleaning machine, you don’t need to take any action to keep it that way, she says. However, one thing you could do to boost your vagina’s natural cleaning abilities is to eat more yogurt, which contains the good bacteria that keep your vag fresh yeast infection ­free.

The doctor also wonders in the article if the steam can even go up that far. The vaginal canal isn’t Route 66 but it’s not a cavernous hall, either. Either way, steaming could mess with your body’s natural ability to keep and maintain its own defenses because it’s a super delicate ecosystem down there. I mean, if you’re not wearing the right underoos and if you under enough stress, then you may risk getting a yeast infection. It already has an ability to get rid of the germs that grow in and around the body, the vagina. There’s no need to modify that.

3. It Won’t Balance Any Hormones

First off, Minkin says, there are no hormones produced by the uterus or the vagina. “The hormone factory is in the ovaries, and there’s no reason why steam would affect the hormones produced there,” she says. And again, it’s hard to say if the steam even makes it that far.

Welp, usually I would add something here but there you have it. And no, you can directly inject steam into your vaginal canal (please don’t do that) and still, it probably won’t even slip past the cervix, at best.

Frankly, steam cleaning is great for drapes and clothing. Steamers are great for when you’re suffering from head colds. Saunas are nice. Herbal saunas are nice. Steam can be used to power machines. These are all nice things. Steam treatments on the body can be great, up the vaginal canal is not one of them.

Basically, don’t do it.

And it’s almost a week away from the Black Witch live stream, June 9th. I think I should update the time to 7 PM EST if I haven’t already. The reason for this livestream is because Black Witch will be in its sixth year, it’s the Black Witch 6th Anniversary. W00t. The livestream will be via the Black Witch Fan Page on Facebook, so get in on that.

Hey there, do you know where I should start with learning about Wiccan charms and spells and such? I feel like I need to guard myself against ne’r-do-wells wishing me turmoil and bad luck. You were the first person I thought about.
– Maya

Actually, there really aren’t anything called “Wiccan” charms and spells, honestly, because Wicca pulls from so many different cultures there’s nothing really that is a Wiccan charm – as in, it spurred from Wicca (which started in 1957) and wasn’t heavily meld or borrowed from another culture. However! There are plenty of charms and magick for protective reasons. Almost every book on magick is going to have something on protection. I really recommend anything Ellen Dugan, she’s a great writer with simple and effective charms and spells, especially for protection and to remove negative influence. I remember a lemon spell that she had in the Elements of Witchcraft book, it was pretty nice and simple.

Another person I suggest is Lauren Manoy because of her book, Where to Park Your Broomstick because it’s great for those who are new and is very well versed and informative.


That all the question I got for this month. I was genuinely surprised because of all my posting about “Oh geez, I have to deal with Johns Hopkins University’s prejudice” – (Oh, by the by, I learned that if Hopkins keeps stonewalling EEOC about submitting mediation responses, on Aug 1st, I can ask for my “right to sue” from the EEOC. So Hopkins options are A) Mediate B) Get Investigated C) Get Sued.) – “and my car’s transmission is dead, plz donate,” I was pretty certain I wouldn’t get a single question at all.

The car is finally out but the issue now is because I had to pay the massive $5000+ bill, I can’t do therapy or treatment for my trauma disorders because, well, the money had to come from somewhere. While looking for a new job, I had to drive my car all over Maryland, which eventually killed the transmission. It didn’t help that when I finally did get a decent gig the first time around in Feb, Hopkins had my apartment raided literally in the first week I started, which caused me to lose my job then and so I had to then search some more…y’know, as if Maryland has jobs coming out of the walls. (We don’t, and especially not Baltimore City.)

Donations are still awesome because I kinda still want to very much regulate my disorders but now you see why I’m not feeling much too compassionate towards Hopkins and their milking of the clock. Hopkins will always be a pretty bigoted and hateful institution (seriously, it’s built into their reputation: “We’re not an Ivy but we’ll hate and treate the historically marginalized like one and call it ‘community care’.”), I already know my case won’t fix that – they get brought to court a lot over discrimination. For a place that says they value diversity, they shouldn’t see “being sued regularly over discrimination” as a sign that they are progressive.

The cop that trashed my place is still being investigated. I personally would like for the city to do the right thing and discipline (*koff*fire*koff*) this crooked cop. Does this promise that this situation of the raid alone won’t go to court? No. Oh, nooooo. That’s something else to consider once summer is over and I’m better settled into my new, current gig. And just like Hopkins, I know this case wouldn’t change the Baltimore City Police and how they will act in the future, I just want all this crap to be over with.

Also, here is a picture of my cat:

There's a reason why my mom calls her "pukey". Her actual name is Madison. And she's also nicknamed "Binky" (because of Jar Jar Binks) by my mom, because she thought the cat was stupid and everyone objected to her idea of naming the cat "Stupid"

There’s a reason why my mom calls her “pukey”. Her actual name is Madison. And she’s also nicknamed “Binky” (because of Jar Jar Binks) by my mom, because she thought the cat was stupid and everyone objected to her idea of naming the cat “Stupid”. And yes, she’s fat. I want to buy her a kitty treadmill one day.

There really isn’t much to say. Like I said earlier, I do now have my car back but to pay for the $5000 bill, I had to cut therapy for my trauma disorders because the money had to come from somewhere. I’m really not happy about this because it’s kind of important that I get regular treatment for my trauma disorders to keep them in check. If I were back at Hopkins, my transmission probably wouldn’t have gone out for a good long while but because I had to drive this car all over Maryland while finding a new job, it simply was worked too hard and gave out.

Because I’m really determined to get therapy back up and going, that means I will be more busy and I may reopen the BW Shoppe way eariler than planned and there will be new stuff once I get living situation taken care of. I seriously don’t know how any of this stuff will work out but, yeah. To be fair, I really haven’t a clue. However, BW will still keep running. I did like the Facebook fan page livestreams and the 6 year anniversary of Black Witch is on June 9th, where I always would do a live stream so I’ll probably do a livestream on June 9th at about 7:30 PM EST via Facebook. Yeah, that sounds about fitting. Details coming soon!

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